Billionaire investor Stephen Jarislowsky prefers the bid for TMX Group Inc., which owns bourses in Toronto and Montreal, from a group of Canadian banks and pensions instead of London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s agreement to purchase the company.
Maple Group Acquisition Corp., a group of 13 Canadian financial-services companies, said Jarislowsky supports its proposed C$3.73 billion ($3.79 billion) takeover of TMX. The group didn’t say whether Jarislowsky is a TMX shareholder.
“I am delighted with the emergence of the Maple Group,” Jarislowsky, chief executive officer of Montreal-based Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., said today in a statement from Maple Group. “It attests to a broad consensus within Canada’s financial community.”
Jarislowsky had a net worth of C$1.85 billion last year, making him the 28th-richest person in the nation, according to Canadian Business magazine. Maple Group released his comments before shareholders vote on the deal on June 30, and two days after the consortium boosted its offer to C$50 a share from C$48, hours after the London exchange and TMX agreed to pay a special dividend to shareholders to win their support.
Maple doesn’t know if Jarislowsky Fraser owns TMX shares, a spokeswoman said. The group does “welcome his support,” she said. Jarislowsky wasn’t immediately available to comment because his offices in Montreal are closed for the St. Jean Baptiste holiday.
Jarislowsky’s endorsement follows recommendations by shareholder advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. that TMX shareholders should vote for the LSE bid.
“I believe that the deal needs to go through if you want to see growth at the Toronto Stock Exchange,” Renee Colyer, CEO at Toronto-based consulting firm Forefactor, said of LSE’s agreement. “It’s one of the best ways that an exchange can grow.”